Dhan Mill Compound: The new place to go for food, art & fashion in the capital
The quaint, gated Dhan Mill Compound in Chhattarpur is home to some quiet cafes, bespoke boutiques, spaces for community gatherings and events that can offer you a break from the usual haunts of Delhi and NCR.
The Odd Bird Theatre company, for instance, curates 50 events annually from workshops to theatre. On weekends, the space is rented out for photoshoots and private events. Shed 9, also owned by Oddbird, is a warehouse that can be rented out by different groups to customise to their taste and conducts their events. Foodtalk India organised a Whisky tasting event, Singleton Sensorium, by The Singleton, Scotland in April. When asked why they chose Shed 9 Foodtalk India CEO Shuchir Suri said Single malt has always been positioned in hotels and high-end venues. We wanted to make it approachable and hip, the way it's supposed to be. Close to Shed 9 at the crossroads is located Stars and Snowflakes by Aastha, a spacious pet store that houses merchandise from notebooks inspired by pets to dog collars and grooming products. There's also a little sofa for your pets to laze on.
Down this road, first on the right, is The Common Room, a nonprofit that works with budding entrepreneurs and startups. It provides conference and meeting rooms and will soon have a café. Inside, there's an amphitheatre where film screenings, conferences and town halls can be held. The space has hosted the likes of Kevin Harrington from Netflix's Shark Tank, among others. The Common Room brings together seemingly disconnected disciplines and subjects under one roof. Dhan Mill's eclectic vibe works as the idyllic location for us to nurture this creative entrepreneurial energy, Tanvi, from the Common Room, said.
The Nappa Dori warehouse has an exclusive store here with its iconic handmade leather goods. Do look out for their stationary as well. Also in the premises is a café that is pet-friendly with a special menu for pets. The Dori café gives a spacious feel with great breakfast options on offer. Rohan, who works at Dori café, said the crowd really picks up in the afternoons, owing to its ambience and food.
One can also go to Quick Brown Fox Café which offers a detailed menu for coffee lovers with a variety of options from pour-over to French press and affogato. The food menu is simple and big on gut-friendly food. The idea was to always convert a warehouse into a roastery, says Vaibhav Bindal, founder of Quick Brown Fox, on why he chose Dhan Mill for the café's location. Dhan Mill is also very accessible, compared to a place like, say Okhla. This place fit the bill for the location patterns of roasteries abroad, he adds.
Across the street from the café is Spin, a furnishing solutions company whose designs are inspired by Nordic furniture. The emphasis is on bare steel and wood furniture that is minimalistic, but retains its Indianness by virtue of the colours on offer.
Adjacent to Spin is Manish Arora's design studio, it's his personal office according to a staffer, and while entry may be by appointment only one can find him hopping across to Quick Brown Fox for a bite. An iconic Ambassador styled in Arora's taste greeted visitors on the street outside the designer's studio.
A good place for designer wear is Pernia's pop-up studio. The studio was stocked with the summery best and some traditional wear in keeping with the city's weather and its festive spirit.
An interesting women's wear store is Delhi Vintage Co whose minimalist interiors let the dresses to the talking. It prides itself on colours especially since it is summer. The store has spacious interiors and entertains customisations when possible. We have been here only for about six months and the footfall is gradually increasing. We are looking forward to the next season, says Manish, founder, Delhi Vintage Co. We chose DMC as the location for our store because the place is not commercial and is tucked away from the hustle bustle of a crowded market, which gives it a little bit of exclusivity. It has huge potential to become the next big hub, Manish adds.
Nakul Sen is another place for women's traditional festive fix. Bloni and Divyam Mehta offer customisations and bespoke tailoring for men as well. Bloni has some interesting unisex designs in linen. Divyam Mehta is more traditionally focused with jackets and kurtas. They also offer full-fledged wedding trousseau for women.
This summer, keep an eye out for events and sales at Dhan Mill. And if you're exhausted with the shopping, you can always catch a break at one of its quiet, cosy cafés.
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